Scholarship Scams And How to Avoid Them
We see that there are thousands and lakhs of students who need help with their studies. They did not have enough money that they can pay for their school or college and that’s why they apply for scholarships. So that, from the scholarship they can get financial aid to pay their school fee. In America, every year more than 300,000 students apply for “scholarships.”
As it seems that the demand for scholarships is high and that’s why the chances of becoming the victim of scholarship scams are also high. With the motto “opportunity for all”, we want that all students stay safe and protected from any type of scam. That’s why here we provide some information that how one can safe from scams or even they feel something like a scam then they can report about them. In this article, we read about how one safe from the different scholarship scams can and also report a filed complaint against them. So, the students can safe from them.
Red Flags For Scholarship
We listen every day that hundreds of people have become the victim of the scams and if you see or come across one of those red flags then you can report a filed complaint against them. There is every day many of the warning signs are given with scholarship scams. You can file a complaint against them to one of the bodies which are outlined in the next section.
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The main thing you have to keep in mind is that scholarships are always free of cost so never pay a fee for filing for any of the scholarships. Because the main point of scholarships is to help the students for their study by providing them money from the scholarship, not to make money from them. If you see that they are asking for money that means they are not legit.
Also, you have to make sure that you did not apply for the scholarship which has the money-back offer. Because those scholarships provide the money back to only those applicants who win the scholarship, not to those students who are applying for the scholarship. So, do not invest your money or waste it on those scholarships.
If you see that there are scholarships that are claimed for the “exclusive information”, it means they are shady. Because real scholarship never attracts you. They just want to help you to pay for the school fee rather than apply for any scholarship.
If you are going to file for a scholarship and find that an application asks you to enter your credit card or banking information then it is a clear sign of a scholarship scam. Always try to keep one thing seriously that DO NOT VOLUNTEER YOUR FINANCIAL INFORMATION like social security numbers under any circumstances. Because no one needs to access your finances to help you to pay for your school.
Therefore, always keep these points in your mind to stay safe from any scholarship scam. You have never to share your personal information or banking information, never pay for any scholarship fee, never believe in cash-back offers for scholarships. If you follow these points then you will be safe from any type of scholarship scam.
Signs a scholarship is a scam
They ask for advances
An important trick is to promise your child a scholarship with an advance of normally $ 10 to $ 25. They promise to pay you back if your son does not get the scholarship. Avoid falling for the scam. You will not be able to request a refund of your advance payment since they will not allocate funds to your child.
They request access to your funds
This scam involves requests for personal information over the phone or through the website (credit card information, bank account information, social security number). You should never give out personal information. They may say they need your social security number to “confirm your eligibility” or “set aside your scholarship,” but what they’re really trying to do is load money into your account, once, monthly, or even weekly.
They claim to have exclusive information
The scammer may say, “We have a list of scholarships you won’t be able to find anywhere else,” for which they will request an “access” fee. Such claims are false. Scholarship databases are not secret and exclusive. Numerous scholarship information sites, such as Scholarships.com, Fastweb.com, and CollegeBoard.org, provide free scholarship information. You may also be able to find local scholarships through your counselor’s office and local library, which are less likely to be scams and have fewer applicants.
They claim to have exclusive information
They will ask you to pay an “access fee” for a list of scholarships they have that you cannot find anywhere else. This is not true. No secret, exclusive scholarship databases exist. Scholarship information is available for free at countless sites, including Scholarships.com, Fastweb.com, and CollegeBoard.org . Even better, you can go to your counselor’s office and local library for information on local scholarships that will have fewer applicants and are less likely to be online scams.
They offer to fill out the forms, for a fee
“We do all the work,” the scammer may say: “finding the scholarships for your student and processing all the paperwork for them.”. You just have to pay a “processing fee”. This is ridiculous . You will not receive a meaningful letter of recommendation or an essay written for you by these people. “Processing fees” are charged and you will receive something copied from the internet.
The thieves can tell you your child was already a winner, a finalist, or a winner of a scholarship, then ask for a commission for “disbursement”, “redemption”, or “administrative expenses” to award him or her with the scholarship. You may even receive a large check saying you can only cash it after you pay the required fee to take possession of the money. Throw such correspondence in the trash.
Also Read : How to apply for FAFSA – Free Application for Federal Student Aid
Names that appear to be official
It is not uncommon for scammers to use the names of government programs, scholarship organizations, and nonprofit educational foundations. They may even use words like “National,” “Federal,” and “Administration.” They may even use the address “Washington, DC.” Never believe what they say. Checking the legitimacy of organizations before you even speak with them is a good idea, especially if they come to you first.
It looks like a scholarship, but the small admission fee reveals it is a scam. Please be careful! Most students aren’t eligible for a genuine scholarship without any restrictions. A general rule of thumb is to avoid scholarships that require an “admission fee” unless you have thoroughly checked it.
They offer a low-interest academic loan
You will be offered an academic loan with a very low interest rate, but you must pay a commission before you can receive it. It is very likely that your bank manager will tell you it is a scam if you take the offer to them.
You may receive an invitation to attend a free seminar that promises to provide you with useful scholarship information. As soon as you get there, you will run into pushy sales reps who will try to sell you overpriced services, student loans, and resume building, so get out of there right away; it won’t be worth your time.
Phrases that seem too good to be true
Fraudsters use phrases like: “Everyone is eligible for this scholarship” or “Each year, there are billions of dollars in scholarship funds that no one claims.” Both false and false. There are restrictions on all scholarships, and very few scholarships remain unclaimed.
They pressure you to answer quickly
In scholarship scams, scammers often stress the importance of time by stating things such as: “we only choose applicants who respond first” or “act now to claim recent additions to our file”. Do not fall into this trap.
They do not have legitimate contact information
Most scholarship organizations provide a telephone number and business address. Because scammers don’t want to be tracked, they don’t do that. There may be suspicion of operations using a PO box or residential address, especially if they are in Florida. You should hang up on people who refuse to give you their phone number because they insist you call them.
There are several government-sponsored private businesses, including the US Department of Education, the US Chamber of Commerce, and the Office of Good Business Practice. Scholarship services that claim they’re sponsored by these agencies are lying.
Scholarship Offers That are not for you
Here’s your scholarship offer: “Congratulations! You won a $10,000 college scholarship! Click here to claim it!” Does this sound too good to be true? You’re right. You shouldn’t click. Nobody is going to hand you money for college out of thin air. If you trust the generous soul who gives you thousands of dollars, you’re likely to uncover that he or she is actually trying to sell you something, hack your computer, or steal personal information.
Where to find legitimate scholarships
Scams are likely to appear if you conduct a random scholarship search. Make sure you use one of the big reputable companies that provide free scholarship search services for students. Listed below are some great resources:
- CollegeBoard.org : The creators of the SAT and Advanced Placement tests, College Board, help students search for scholarships through their “Scholarship Search” database, which represents $ 3 billion in scholarship funding.
- Scholarships on FastWeb: FastWeb has long been a leader in finding scholarships. Monster Worldwide, the parent company of Monster.com, acquired the company in 2001. It appears that the site has less scholarships and more advertisements in recent years than it did in its heyday.
- Scholarships.com – Scholarships.com provides student scholarship and college comparison services, despite several annoying pop-up ads.
Also Read : How to get Cyber Security Grants for Education
Common Scams Of Scholarships
In today’s time, we see that the two most common scams are facing people every day and these are ‘Phishing’ and ‘Pharming’. These two are the most common internet scams these days.
The phishing scam is most common and it is the way to trick people into their scam with ease. Because they send emails from the sources pretending to be a reputable company and trust them, people, that they are real emails. Their emails contain the information for your details.
Through their emails, they ask you to fill in your personal information like date of birth, credit card number, passwords, and bank account number details by which they can hack your bank account. Not only this, but they also have the logo of your bank or credit card company so they can trick you easily and hack your money.
A Pharming scam is also the same as a Phishing scam. These scams have also come through emails but they take you on another bogus site where they will ask you different questions and you have to compel to answer their questions. You have to fill in your personal and financial information. That’s why you have to make sure that you did not become the victim of their scam.
Because both the scams Phishing and Pharming scams have come through the emails. So, make sure that you use the spam filter on your inbox and secure your details, and don’t face any of these types of problems.
See Something, Say Something
There are lots of students who need the help of scholarships for their studies so that they can continue their studies and make their dreams come true. For this, they always try to fill the application form for different scholarships so they will win any of them can get help for their study.
But we also know that on one side there are numerous organizations, agencies and companies are present who provide the scholarship on their website, and on another side, there are some fraud companies that provide fake links for scholarships and students become the victim of their scams. So, if you see something like this, then you have to alert authorities. So that no more financial aid-seeking students or anyone another person who needs financial help for their study becomes the victim of those types of scams.
Where to Report Your scam to These Organizations
There are some of the important and official bodies to whom you can report the suspicious activity. If you any of the examples listed then you can report to the official bodies. Such as:
National Fraud Information Center (NFIC)
If you want to file a complaint then you can visit their official website www.fraud.org.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
To file a complaint online you can go to www.ftc.gov/scholarshipscams or write to:
Federal Trade Commission Consumer
600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20580
State Attorney General’s office
With the Protection Division in your state, you can also file complaints with them. You can visit www.naag.org and can find your state Attorney General’s office. And there you can go to file your complaint or can file a complaint online.
US Postal Inspection Service (USPIS)
You can report a complaint about the mail at postalinspectors.uspis.gov. Also, you can make the call on Crime Hotline number on 877-876-2455. Also, you can write to:
Criminal Investigations Service Center
222 S. Riverside Plaza, Ste. 1250
Chicago, IL 60606-6100
Better Business Bureau
There is one more platform where you can file a complaint about a business by visiting their website www.bbb.org or call them on 703-276-0100.
There are many platforms, where you can report the complaint against the scam by visiting their website or call on the number that they provide to them.
How Getgovtgrants Protects You For Grants and Scholarship Scam
getgovtgrants always wants to help their users and that’s why we always want that our users win. We provide different facilities to the users to get the best scholarships possible. We provide our services or quality assistance on three central tenets. These are:
- We did not add any type of sweepstakes scholarship to our scholarship database. Because these types of scholarships have numerous applicants and it decreases the chances of your winning. That’s why we choose and add the scholarships which will be helpful for you and you can win them.
- We do not have the scholarships for that it is important must be a member of any organization or program. We have only one motto that is “Opportunity for All”. This means we have scholarships that are open to the public and anyone can use them or apply for them according to their need.
- Even did not have any type of scholarship that one has to sign up or create their account to access the application. We did not add the type of scholarship in our database because it consumes too much time and students just need the scholarship which they can fill in less time and get money from them if they qualify for it. That’s why we focus on the scholarship which is helpful for the students to get money for their school.
The Bottom Line
However, there are different sites of organizations/ agencies/ companies that provide scholarships to help the students to pay for their school. But there are high chances of becoming a victim of the scholarship scams. Because there are lots of websites that provide fake information of scholarships then ask for money or enter your personal and financial information, which is a scam. Because the scholarship will never ask you for any type of personal or banking information or pay for applying for a scholarship. So, follow all the above-mentioned points and tips and report a file against the scam if you see any.